Quaker Studies

The Rowntree History Series and the Growth of Liberal Quakerism

Quaker Studies (2011), 16, (1), 7–73.

Abstract

This study explores how some leading Quakers in the period 1895–1925 promoted liberal views within the Religious Society of Friends in Britain and the USA. It focuses on the use of denominational history as a medium through which to transmit these ideas, in particular on the Rowntree History Series. It is argued that the Rowntree History Series played a vitally important role in the construction of Liberal Quaker identity throughout this period, focussing on the attitudes of influential Quakers John Wilhelm Rowntree, Rufus Jones and William Charles Braithwaite, in order to demonstrate that the Rowntree History Series was presented to enable Liberal Quakers to affirm Quaker tradition while at the same time justifying fundamental theological changes. The study concludes that the Rowntree History Series can be primarily understood as an intended resource for education and preparation for ministry.

The Rowntree History Series and the Growth of Liberal Quakerism

Abstract

This study explores how some leading Quakers in the period 1895–1925 promoted liberal views within the Religious Society of Friends in Britain and the USA. It focuses on the use of denominational history as a medium through which to transmit these ideas, in particular on the Rowntree History Series. It is argued that the Rowntree History Series played a vitally important role in the construction of Liberal Quaker identity throughout this period, focussing on the attitudes of influential Quakers John Wilhelm Rowntree, Rufus Jones and William Charles Braithwaite, in order to demonstrate that the Rowntree History Series was presented to enable Liberal Quakers to affirm Quaker tradition while at the same time justifying fundamental theological changes. The study concludes that the Rowntree History Series can be primarily understood as an intended resource for education and preparation for ministry.


Details

Author details

Southern, Alice